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Alfalfa

Find articles on alfalfa planting, stand establishment and crop management to help you achieve your production goals.

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The recent historic high hay prices have given alfalfa producers an incentive to maximize the forage production on every alfalfa production acre they have.

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Forage tests give us very valuable information about the forages we are feeding. But which numbers should we be looking at? Which are the important ones? The forage report (Table 1) gives some very good examples of numbers to compare to your forage tests.

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Late-summer harvests of alfalfa are often disappointing to growers, with low yields and low quality. Let’s face it, our crop sometimes gets “the blues.”

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The fundamental key to any successful dairy or beef operation is a good supply of high-yielding and high-quality forage. As an account manager for W-L Alfalfas, I get to be involved in that role on a daily basis.

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Alfalfa stands thin out over time, often slowly but sometimes suddenly. And as stands decline, tonnage and economic returns decline with them. When yield gets too low, the usual suggestion is to plant new fields to alfalfa, but sometimes factors like the immediate forage need, the cropping plans or field location make this suggestion undesirable.

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With input costs on the rise, growers question whether there will be a return on their investment before making a purchase.

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